Dan Walters might be the most high-profile media advocate for community colleges in California.

“Low-cost, conveniently located community colleges are the primary gateway into post-high school job training and four-year degrees for those who would otherwise be stuck on the lower rungs of the socioeconomic ladder.”  — Dan Walters 

For example, he long has championed allowing community colleges to grant baccalaureate degrees in technical fields — especially in rural regions where students must travel long distances to attend a four-year institution.

New Community College Programs

In his latest CALmatters column, Walters highlights the positive changes either underway or coming soon to the state’s community college system. Among them are:

— Allowing students who have completed required lower-division work in some majors to transfer as juniors to private, nonprofit colleges and universities.

— The “California College Promise” backed by Gov. Jerry Brown. Under this program, eligible students will receive financial help and guaranteed transfers to four-year universities. This program also calls for community colleges to team up with high schools to enhance college preparation.

— A  new state-operated online community college aimed at helping workers displaced by technology or other factors get the training needed to land new jobs in today’s global economy.

“California’s 114 community colleges are the Rodney Dangerfields of higher education, overshadowed by the state’s four-year universities and not getting much respect,” Walters opines.

“More importantly, low-cost, conveniently located community colleges are the primary gateway into post-high school job training and four-year degrees for those who would otherwise be stuck on the lower rungs of the socioeconomic ladder.”

Read the Column

Walters describes additional changes in the community college system in his July 30 column. You can read Big changes coming to vital community colleges at this link.

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